The Things They Carried Title Analysis

726 Words3 Pages
Title Tim O’Brien’s The Things They Carried blends the truth of a Vietnam War memoir and the facts of a writer’s autobiography. He combines imagination with reality, all the while meditating on the war, his memories, and the power to redeem oneself through storytelling. The song “For What It’s Worth” by Buffalo Springfield and Tim O’Brien’s The Things They Carried both The “things” of the title that O’Brien’s characters carry are both literal and figurative. While they all carry heavy physical loads, including steel helmets, boots, guns, ammunition, and flak jackets, they also all carry heavy emotional loads, made up of responsibility, anguish, horror, love, and longing. Each man’s physical encumbrance accentuates his emotional encumbrance.…show more content…
Bowker shows his frustration in the letter that he sends to O’Brien: “What you should do, Tim, is write a story about a guy who feels like he got zapped over in that shithole. [ . . . ] This guy wants to talk about it, but he can’t . . . If you want, you can use the stuff in this letter. (But not my real name, okay?) I’d write it myself except I can’t ever find any words, if you know what I mean, and I can’t figure out what exactly to say. Something about the field that night. The way Kiowa just disappeared into the crud. You were there—you can tell it” (O’Brien, 151). The fact that Bowker chooses Kiowa’s death in the field, over all of the other deaths that he had witnessed, shows that Kiowa’s death particularly scarred him. This is evident by the fact that although Bowker wants to talk about what he witnessed and what actions he performed in the war, he cannot because his emotional scars overbear his ability to explain his physical scars. Bowker also shows his shame after asking that O’Brien keeps him

More about The Things They Carried Title Analysis

Open Document